Santiago Alarcon photo by Tara Nguyen
SAN JOSE, CALIF.–“I normally attach a Beanie Baby that I clip onto my belt loop everyday, that’s a little unorthodox,” said Santiago Alarcon, a sophomore skateboarder who likes to be seen as a little bit strange.
Known for his own reworking of pants and other alterations, he uses clothing to express himself. “I feel like people don’t always express themselves for fear of being ostracized,” said Alarcon. He has always liked the idea of being his most honest self, but now he no longer cares about what others think and does just that. For instance, there was a time when he bought a wedding dress from Goodwill and spray painted words and symbols onto it. “There were a ton of words and symbols that nobody ended up seeing because they were hidden in the ruffles,” said Alarcon describing one of his works.
His mother taught him how to sew and he knows how to both sew by hand and by a machine. “I know how to do both but I feel like I’m better at using a sewing machine,” admitted Alarcon. Finding his materials from Goodwill, he likes to look for things with unique patterns. “They had this pink kimono with this dope print… and people really need to check out this Goodwill by Silver Creek.”
In the future, Alarcon is open to selling his reworked pants and if his business were to be successful he predicts he would be exactly how he is now. “It wouldn’t change me at all because the second I hit the million mark, I’d want to just split it in half and give away $500,000,” said Alarcon. Having aspirations of starting his own clothing line, tentatively named “Unorigin” or “Unoriginal F*ck” inspired by skate brands like F*cking Awesome.
“I’ll watch skate videos and I try to think about what would be sick to see in skate videos,” said Alarcon, wanting to emphasize his own sense of style and at the same time paying attention to functionality.
As we were standing under the overhang in front of the small gym, there was a number of people who walked by to greet him. One of which being Joaquin Loredo, junior, who he sees to be his main inspiration. “I got out of my comfort zone when I started seeing what Joaquin was wearing,” said Alarcon. “Now people can see me wearing whatever I want and it’s normal.”
Santiago Alarcon and Joaquin Loredo, photo by Tara Nguyen